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Hydrological and Vegetation Analysis of an Alluvial Floodplain in Belgium

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In this paper, results from an intensive two-year monitoring campaign of a wetland gradient are presented and analyzed. Two spatially adjacent sites along a wetland gradient are described by means of abiotic variables, groundwater level, and soil temperature and soil moisture at several depths throughout the vertical soil profile. The vegetation of the sites is described on the basis of a species cover inventory, and two different vegetation types are distinguished along the wetland gradient: Arrhenatheretum elatioris at the highest end of the gradient and Caricetum gracilis at the lowest end. Aboveground biomass and leaf area index of both Arrhenatheretum elatioris and Caricetum gracilis were measured on a monthly basis, and their seasonal variation could be related to specific site conditions. Furthermore, evidence was found that vegetation was not passive to the environmental site conditions but actively influenced them. The groundwater at the lower Caricetum gracilis site showed diurnal fluctuations with amplitudes up to 10 cm, which could be attributed to transpiration losses by phreatophytes.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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  • The Belgian Journal of Botany (now known as Plant Ecology and Evolution) is an international journal open to all fields of plant sciences. Please note, however, that papers restricted to purely nomenclatural matters or to floristical data of only local interest will not be accepted. The Journal appears in one volume of two issues per year. It publishes reviews, original research papers, short notes, letters to the editor, and book reviews. Click here for current issues of this journal
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